During a Fox News interview on Tuesday morning, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) responded to news of President Trump’s personal attorney being raided by the FBI by arguing the entire investigation into Trump shouldn’t exist in the first place.
“We never should have had Mueller in the first place, because we’ve given too much power to a prosecutor who is no longer looking at Russia, he’s looking at some kind of personal dealings with the president’s lawyer,” Paul said. “Really, the president is right — this is a witch hunt. But it’s a wide-open thing and it’s a mistake to ever have these special prosecutors. That’s why I’ve opposed it even for Andy McCabe and for Peter Strzok and all these other people who abuse their office.”
Fox News host Bill Hemmer immediately called Paul on his hypocrisy, noting he supported Ken Starr’s investigation into then-President Bill Clinton.
“How did you feel about Ken Starr in the ’90s?” Hemmer asked.
“You know, I may not have been as consistent back then,” Paul replied with a chuckle.
Unlike Ken Starr, Mueller’s investigation is overseen by officials hand-selected by the president they are investigating. And yet whatever loyalty they feel toward Trump didn’t prevent Geoffrey Berman, the man whom Trump hand-selected to be the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, from approving a raid of the president’s lawyer in consultation with an assistant attorney general and the head of the Criminal Division at the Department of Justice, another official appointed by Trump.
Despite attacking Trump as “sophomoric” during the presidential election, Paul has emerged as one of the president’s staunchest defenders on Fox News. But instead of defending Trump on the merits, Paul attacks the basis of Mueller’s investigation while trying to hype new scandals surrounding previous Democratic administrations.
“There are now allegations that both in the FBI and the Department of Justice, there basically was collusion to prevent Donald Trump from becoming president,” Paul said during a December 2017 appearance with Hemmer. “You know, we’ve had this investigation about Russian collusion — maybe we need an investigation about high-ranking Obama officials colluding to try to prevent Trump form being president. that’s more serious than even Watergate.”
But to buy in to Paul’s conspiracy theory requires selective amnesia about the actual timeline of the 2016 election, during which both Trump and Hillary Clinton were investigated by the FBI — but FBI officials only publicized the investigation into Clinton.
Paul has indicated he doesn’t have similar procedural concerns about the basis of Ken Starr’s investigation, which he weaponized 15 years after the fact to discredit the presidential candidacy of Hillary Clinton in early 2014.